Sundance Film Fest 2009: Festival expands support for Indie Producers

Sundance Institute announced today the expansion of its Creative Producing Initiative designed to nurture emerging independent producers in both narrative and documentary fields. For 2009-2010, the Initiative will include the re-conceived Creative Producing Summit (formerly the Independent Producers Conference), the Creative Producing Lab supporting six Fellows from the Feature Film Program and, new for this year, four from the Documentary Film Program,  as well as Sundance Industry Meetings to connect filmmakers with industry members at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
The Creative Producing Initiative is designed to support producers with project-specific support through Labs, grants, and long-term advisor relationships and to also reinvigorate dialogue within the independent producing community.  Fellows from four of Sundance Institute's programs: Feature Film Program, Documentary Program, Sundance Film Festival, and Native American Program have been selected to participate in Creative Producing Initiative activities, bring a wide range of projects, experiences and backgrounds.
“The vitality of independent producers is crucial to the quality and abundance of independent cinema, and we are committed to deepening the Institute's support with the expanded Creative Producing Initiative,” said Anne Lai, Producer in Residence, Sundance Institute Feature Film Program. “We believe this expansion will not only support the next generation of independent producers, but renew the community of veteran producers committed to the vibrancy of independent film.”

The Creative Producing Summit, to be held July 24-26 at the Sundance Resort, is an invitation-only event for up to 40 producers and directors. Over the three-day gathering, the Summit provides a forum for top industry professionals, producers, and directors to focus on three primary avenues of dialogue: narrative producing, documentary producing, and the state of the independent film industry. Twenty panelists representing the best of the independent film industry  will be on hand for  one-on-one meetings, intimate round tables, and case study reviews. Former participants have reported that this gathering substantially increases their professional networks due to the quality of time with fellow participants and industry panelists who serve as Creative Advisors. Many producers have found creative partners and lifelong colleagues there. The fostering of community among participating producers ad the involvement of key figures in the independent film industry continue to be cornerstones of this newly-conceived Creative Producing Summit.  For a list of panelists visit

The Feature Film Creative Producing Lab, a five-day Lab for narrative feature film producers takes place at the Sundance Resort in Utah from July 20-24, 2009, just prior to the Summit. The Lab is designed to develop a producer's creative instincts in all stages of film production and to evolve his/her communication and problem-solving skills. The fellows will also attend the Creative Producing Summit, the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, receive ongoing creative and strategic support throughout the year from industry mentors and the Feature Film Program staff, and also grants for further development and pre-production.
The Documentary Film Creative Producing Lab launches this year scheduled for two-and-one-half days over July 22-24.Invited producers are chosen from a pool of Sundance Documentary Fund grantees and will participate in one-on-one consultations, pitch trainings and presentations aimed at honing the craft or creative documentary producing. They will also attend the Creative Producing Summit and receive on-going creative and technical support throughout the year from Advisors and Documentary Film Program staff.
Sundance Institute receives major support for its Creative Producing Initiative from: B.Co., The Charles Engelhard Foundation, Cinereach, The Ford Foundation, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Microsoft, The Open Society Institute, SAGindie, Sheila C. Johnson, The Skoll Foundation and The Wallace Global Fund.